I really didn’t realize it when I booked the trip – Phuket and Phi Phi Island are really two separate destinations (it takes longer to get from Phuket to Phi Phi than back to Bangkok) and this really compressed the trip. We had 4 major transitions in 8 days with cash issues, language, multiple Type A personalities, first time driving on the left in awhile, and trying to distinguish between who was helping vs. hustling us – created a few Clark Griswold moments.
Annelise and Alexandra feeding the fish – with their feet.
Phuket – it is actually an island – but connected via a relatively short bridge the mainland. The west coast (on the Indian Ocean side which hit by the Tsunami in 2004) is much like Hawaii which a choice of beaches each having advantages and we rented a car and visited many of them (they drive on the left – only one incident driving against traffic). Except for Patong Beach which stood alone – known locally as the “Atlantic City of Asia” it offered a variety of entertainment options – most of which can’t be listed here. And we were on the family friendly street. On the east side is Phang Nga bay – truly spectacular and we visited James Bond island – although the island is worth a trip, it is a singular point covered in tourists (like us) pushing to get a photo but the best part of the tour is seeing the endless mountains coming straight out of the water in the bay over a thousand feet high and boating in between them and into caves around them.
Trip over to Phang Nga bay and James Bond Island
Some of the other sites around Phuket
Phi Phi Island – Actually two islands. Don and Le. Don is where people stay. It is totally remote, only accessible by boat and once on the island you need a water taxi to take you to your hotel. But worth it – we stayed at a low key hotel right on the beach (English translation – Holiday Inn). Annelise finally got her vacation of “doing nothing” – lasted for about a day and we took a morning trip to Maya Beach which was on Ko Phi Phi Le. Because we had to swim to get to the landing point – no camera or pictures but I included some from the google. Up there with anywhere I have ever seen.
Ko Phi Phi Le
Views below on the backside of the beach where we had to jump out of the boat and time the waves to climb up the rope ladder to get on shore and a short hike over to the beach side.
We stayed on Ko Phi Phi Don where our hotel was located
Phi Phi Island is a long way from anywhere – 18 hours door to door for Alexandra, Annelise, and I to get back to Seoul and Sharon tagged on another 16 hour flight back to DC.